successful and replicable social ventures operated by Urban League affiliates, and serves as a model for innovative and sustainable public/private collaboration.
Teams from Cincinnati, Hartford, Jacksonville, Lorain County, New York, Philadelphia and Tucson will compete in the finals for over $100,000 in start up cash and consulting services to launch their social entrepreneurial and non-profit initiatives. The winners will be announced at the Whitney M. Young Gala on August 2, 2008.
The competition is sponsored by Prudential Foundation and FedEx and all of the finalists will receive feedback on their social venture plans from accomplished judges, Alfred Edmond (Editor-in-Chief, Black Enterprise.com), Julius Walls Jr. (CEO, Greyston Bakery), and Linda
Roach (Partner, Oakcrest Capital Partners).
In the face of declining support for endowments and the highly competitive nature of grant funding, nonprofits are increasingly integrating entrepreneurial strategies as a way to tackle social problems. They seek to earn capital in order to sustain their missions and, for many, build their capacity to consistently deliver services to the underserved. President and C.E.O. of the National Urban League, Marc H. Morial explains, "I envision an entrepreneurial Urban League movement that enjoys economic sustainability while empowering communities and changing lives. Social entrepreneurship is the new community service grant. FedEx and the Prudential Foundation are supporting the creativity and drive of our affiliates to provide the services that our communities demand."
The EOI Social Venture Plan Competition is simultaneously a practicum in competing for investment funds and also a vehicle to provide funding and in-kind services to those that demonstrate the greatest potential for success. This last round of the competition is open to the public and is a great opportunity for residents of the Orlando area to learn about opportunities in social entrepreneurship, and network with social entrepreneurs/Nonprofit leaders.
Established in 2003, the National Urban League's Economic Opportunity Institute (EOI) empowers communities and changes lives by promoting social entrepreneurship as a strategy to achieve sustainable social change.